Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Once more into the breech. . . .

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 29 Aug 2000

Nobody ever seems to want to listen to my pet idea about this :), but I would like to suggest again that there's such a thing as the "non-hardboiled private eye novel". For example, I recently read Margaret Millar's HOW LIKE AN ANGEL. Fine book, and the protagonist is a kind of pi, but it's not a hardboiled book (rather a psychological thriller dealing with religion). I don't know about Sue Grafton, but I would also put Parker and Marcia Muller into this catagory.

To me this idea is sort of counter-intuitive -- in that we keep identifying "pi" with "hardboiled" -- but the more you look at the work itself it starts to make sense. I've come around on Parker, for instance -- I used to hate him just because his work didn't fit my sense of what hb was. Well, I still don't think he's hb, but once I freed myself from this idea that every pi novel *has* to be hardboiled I found myself enjoying his work for it's obvious virtues: humor and good dialog, mainly. (A lot of the later Scudders also seem to me to belong to this catagory, although I haven't read EVERYBODY DIES.)

Just my two cents, doug

===== Doug Bassett

__________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Yahoo! Mail - Free email you can access from anywhere!

# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 29 Aug 2000 EDT